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The recent modern time has created unlimited technological, social and economic potential to humankind. This follows a number of inventions that have been made and to adequately tap the benefits of man power, proper training of generations to come must be the center stage in the global context. Violence, economic problems, disease and disability among children pose a great challenge to the proper training of students towards realization of their full potential. We have adapted school curricula that are detrimental or have selective benefit in the society; not considering the interest of special students groups like the disabled students. This calls for paradigm shift in curriculum development and its implementation to face for these emerging challenges in education sector. The weight of academic preparation for children is increasingly born on the shoulder of education system. Hence, it would be prudent to note that schools should adopt strategies which are all inclusive in realization of successful learning process for both normal and disabled children in the society. This is because all students regardless of their mental capability are entitled to knowledge, critical thinking as well as resilience qualities.
To effective prepare children for future challenges, the governments should strive to ensure that education stakeholders, education policy makers develop and implement education curriculum which addresses the academic needs of disabled children in the society. In this case, the education system must be effective and categorical in outlining how the stipulated strategies would bring benefit to the disabled children. This paper develops an ideal school curriculum which addresses future issues and problems in learning.
Curriculum Development Strategies and Lesson Plan
Learning curriculum “is a comprehensive learning plan that focuses on individual and organizational advancement,” (Print, p. 3). It is a widespread plan aimed at enhancing staffs’ competence needed in the overall improvement of learning for the benefit of the disabled children. Curriculum development should clearly distinguish of strands, domains and dimensions in curriculum development for academic programs that would be beneficial to students with disabilities. In the next ten years, curriculum will change to address the issues of disability in children and older learners. The content will of the curriculum will be as discussed below. In development of this curriculum, all stakeholders will play a critical role since their ideas are equally important. I will play a central role in creating awareness on the need for a curriculum which address contemporary immerging issues in learning.
The aim of providing curriculum development for students with disabilities should be driven by equal opportunities for all. According to Blueprint for Government Schools as quoted by Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, (p. 10), “All students, irrespective of the school they attend, where they live or their social and economic status, have an entitlement to a high-quality school education and a genuine opportunity to succeed.” The following learning curriculum has been developed to comprehensively address the challenges and needs of children with disabilities in the society. The table below outlines a how these parameters can be interrelated and linked in development of curriculum.
Type of School for Disabled Students, K-8 and others
There has been a shift of trends in relation to the number of school that combine both kindergarten and grade 8 in the US. Blair, (2008) observes that,
In urban areas especially, districts have been doing away with middle schools, which traditionally contain grades 6–8, and moving toward K–8 schools. A national database maintained by Missouri State University indicates that since 1994, 1,759 schools in 49 districts throughout the country have either adopted, are preparing to switch to, or have considered switching to a K–8 or 1–8 configuration.
A number of states in the US have made attempts to have a mixture of elementary schools and middle schools. For instance, Washington, DC schools have a program of converting all this mixture to preK-8 schools. There should be a reason to justify these trends; K-8 configuration is gaining popularity in middle grade. Middle schools were favored till the late 1990s when K-8 school was deemed superior following its successful programs witnessed among Catholic school that had K-8 configurations. The program meets emotional, material, collective and intellectual needs of students. It is suggested that grouping students into K-3, 4-6, and 7-8 can bring additional benefit to the students in the system. This is because it now comes easy to administer academic units with minimal number of students. Teacher-to-student ratio is high leading to better academic results.
It is important to erect buildings in separate locations in an ideal K-8 school to create a unique surrounding for each given grade level. However, there is a disadvantage of K-8 configuration in that it has tedious work schedule for teachers besides creating social barrier of interaction between older and younger students. Jarvis as quoted by Blair (2008) affirms that, “It is very difficult to have an age range this broad in a single school, and that can create some potentially unsafe situations for the younger children.” Implementing K-8 school configuration is said to have an overall improved rating in the Adequate Yearly Progress/AYP benchmarks. All these arguments conform to the supremacy of K-8 configuration school; hence, it would be a noble idea to develop a curriculum of this stature for students with disabilities.
The school should have many professional teachers with a wide experience in teaching children with disabilities. This number of professionals will enhance student teacher ration which is necessary for effective teaching of children with disabilities. This is because children with disabilities require more personal interaction with their teachers for a quick learning process.
Proper, integrative administration is basic for the success of any school with a meaningful mission and vision. However, it is apparent that school which cater for the interest of the disabled children in the society, require an effective management model which adequately address the emotional, intellectual, physical, economical needs of learning children, teachers and the school. This is necessary for effective implementation of the curriculum and learning programs. Towards this, proper management of resources is inevitable in such schools to ensure achievement of the suggested success. The role of management should strive to see the realization of this goal by ensuring that:
Teachers are not overloaded; Effective planning and organization by managers put into account the fact that, teachers need manageable workloads within a period of time (Blair, 2008). This includes learning elements such as class size, and number of children with disabilities in learning to handle.
Teachers are rewarded; a well structured reward scheme for teachers with exemplary performance should be created. This can be done through promotion or grading systems which is important in motivating teachers.
There is interaction among teachers; Interaction is one of the best ways of socializing and gaining of an insightful knowledge in a subject as well as new skills. One of the most effective ways of improving teachers’ practice, and encouraging them to be more flexible and creative is to make them observe each other (Lynn, and Lynn, 2007). Managers need to prioritize this in their planning, and ensure that teachers have opportunities to reflect upon their experience. This is a valuable form of in-service training. They also need to provide ongoing support for teachers who are beginning to work in new ways.
There is good management of student roll call; Managers need to keep an open eye to ensure that all local girls and boys are tracked, admitted to school, and helped to continue in school in case of any difficulties.
Promotion of multi-sectoral collaboration in school; Collaborations and cooperation in management of the school is very important since it brings on board different useful ideas from all direction (Walker, 1996). Furthermore, it prudent to note that co-operation with other relevant sectors is an essential tool of the management of an inclusive education system; for instance, health or social services. It is possible that disabled children and their families may be receiving services from a variety of sources.
Setting up school for the disabled is a daunting task that must be articulately mastered. Conventional curricula have always assumed that all students are equal. However, as found out in this research, there are a number of issues that should be addressed before equal education is availed to the disabled students in school. K-8 school configuration has been found ideal for catering for the needs of students in class and the community at large. Rather than implement academic programs tailor made for normal students, there has to be serious modification of those structures to make learning process benefit students with disabilities. It is not only the physically handicapped students who should be considered disabled but also those with learning disabilities and mild cases of mental, physical, or any form of abnormalities. Thus, we must find amicable solutions to promotion of equal rights and opportunities for the disabled students.
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